Free Press Journal

I did not get support from media which I deserved: Umar Akmal


Umar Akmal

Karachi: Pakistan’s controversial young batsman, Umar Akmal complained of a media witch-hunt against him and revealed that he contemplated retirement after being dropped this year. The 25-year old, who has represented Pakistan in 16 Tests, 111 ODIs and 63 T20 internationals, criticised media for always going after him and creating controversies.

“I don’t think I have got the support from the media that I deserved every little issue I have been involved has been blown out of proportion and my statements also misunderstood. In all this I have been made out to be a controversial and indisciplined player and person,” he said.

Umar said the thought of retirement did cross his mind at one stage. “When they dropped me from the Pakistan ODI squad I was very upset and emotional and was thinking about announcing my retirement from international cricket,” Umar said. “But it was after my elders and friends spoke to me and talked sense into me that I decided to fight on and continue to try to get into the Pakistan team. For someone who has always tried to be part of the Pakistan team in all three formats being dropped for the ODIs was very disappointing.”

Umar, who scored a century and 75 on his Test debut in New Zealand in 2009 and a hundred in only his third ODI in Sri Lanka to be rated as an explosive batting talent, has been in and out of the national team and played his last test in September 2011 in Bulawayo Zimbabwe.

His run-ins with authority and the cricket establishment and stories of indiscipline have also brought him notorious fame. But Umar said he was widely misunderstood and recalled that even when he was asked to keep wickets in ODIs and T20s the critics blamed him.

“I was told to do a job and I did it. I have never backed out of a challenge for my team. I am still confident I can play all three formats.” Referring to a report about him refusing to play if his elder brother Kamran was dropped from the national team in the Test series in Australia in early 2010, Umar rubbished the allegation.

“I never said I would not play. I had a genuine fitness issue and the doctors examined me but it was made out that I had revolted against Kamran’s ouster,” he said. Umar said he himself was disappointed that he had not been able to really fulfill the talent he had and said he was now working hard on his batting technique and style and was playing lot of club cricket to improve himself.

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